Open Thread for April 16, 2010

Ah, good evening m’mselle, m’sieur. Can I open a thread for you this evening? First off, if you’re reading this on the site and not through an RSS feed, you may have noticed our new layout. You like? Please let … Continued

Ah, good evening m’mselle, m’sieur. Can I open a thread for you this evening?

First off, if you’re reading this on the site and not through an RSS feed, you may have noticed our new layout. You like? Please let us know. (If you’re reading through an RSS feed, you may want to check out the new Overthinking It home page.

And now, the week.

Late night talk show host Conan O’Brien has found a new home on TBS, just as soon as his non-compete clause with former employer NBC expires. Yours truly still thinks that Conan’s too creative to be shackled to the declining medium that is the late-night talk show, but there’s no question he’ll have more freedom on cable than he would on a broadcast network. Question: O’Brien to TBS—good move or bad?


You should have seen what the Masturbating Bear sketch was like BEFORE the network censored it.

Second, Joss Whedon has been tagged to not only rewrite but also direct Marvel’s The Avengers, scheduled for a May 2012 release. Whedon’s sophomore film effort will feature Chris Evans as Captain America, Tony Stark as Iron Man and Eliza Dushku in some prominent role that will aggravate as many fans as it titillates. Question: Whedon on Avengers—good move or bad?


If he dressed better, I wouldn't trust him with a comic book movie.

And finally, Treme, the New Orleans drama from the producers of The Wire, debuted last Sunday to raves; in fact, HBO has already ordered another season. Viewers cannot get enough of the decay of American metropoli. Question: HBO’s trust in Treme—good move or bad?

Can we go back to shows about Adrian Grenier banging C-list celebrities?

By the way, with this open thread, Overthinking It has passed its 900th post. Do we have a special announcement to commemorate this milestone? As it happens we do.

New England area Overthinkers – you can come see Overthinking It’s first ever live event at ImprovBoston in Cambridge, MA as part of ImprovBoston’s Geek Week 4.0.


Join us on Friday, April 30th at 11:00 PM and Saturday, May 1st at 8:30 PM for a live presentation of Overthinking! This one-of-a-kind show will feature:

  • All-new material, never before seen on the site!
  • Live music!
  • Q&A with the audience—Overthinking material on the spot, or learning more about what goes into our site!
  • A chance to meet some of your favorite Overthinkers!
  • Exclamation points!

Can you make the trip to Boston? Are you curious as to what OTI’s first ever live event will look like? Sound off in the comments, for this is your … open thread!

17 Comments on “Open Thread for April 16, 2010”

  1. Timothy J Swann #

    And here’s why I hate being British…

    On Whedon – first of all, the feature-length Doctor Horrible sequel would excite me more, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up about this deal working out – the article itself said Wonder Woman fell apart, and the truth is Whedon needs his own vision – hence why he tends to work with the same pool of actors and writers, and why Fox keep killing his shows – no matter what the producer, this is a massive Hollywood movie, there’s bound to be tension, and so I’m pretty wary about it.


  2. RiderIon #

    I haven’t seen the redesign in my proper browser yet but it loads much faster and is much smoother on my mobile phone so the redesign gets a thumbs up from me.

    Question 1) Conan’s move to cable isn’t a surprise and neither is it that he’s in late night as opposed to doing a web show. However, his time slot is definitely not helping him in terms of Nielson ratings. He’s going head-to-head with The Daily Show and Colbert Report which is also vying for the same precious 18 to 34 demographic. However, I’ll have to see what TBS does in way of an official stream or download as I rarely stay awake to watch anything past 11. I get my Daily Show and Colbert Report via their respective websites and I wouldn’t mind adding Conan’s show as apart of my regime.

    Question 2) I’m excited to see what he’s going to do. I’m not a huge Whedon fan but what I’ve seen of his craft (namely Serenity and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog), I’ve greatly enjoyed.

    @Timothy J Swann: Neil Patrick Harris practically confirmed a Dr. Horrible feature film to begin filming in 2011 so your wish has been granted.


  3. DaveW #

    I’ve gotta admit, I kinda prefer the previous design.

    Far as Joss doing Avengers, all I can say is GLEEEEEE!!!! (the sensation, not the show.) I love his style, and he’s been writing for Marvel for quite a while now. I was very, very concerned when they said Zack Penn would write Avengers, and to hear that he’s redoing the script makes me very, very happy.


  4. Gab #

    But what about Glee the SHOW? ;)

    I like the redesign, quite a bit. The newspaperyness (to phrase it as Stokes did) adds a great level of satire to the mix. It *would* be nice if hyperlinks made a new tab instead of changed the page being viewed, though… ::cough::

    Whedon: (Neil was also on celebrity _Jeopardy!_ last night. He was great, but he sucked.) I suppose that since Disney owns the rights to Marvel, perhaps they won’t be as constricting as Fox has been and will give Joss the legroom he needs to make something fantastic. I suppose I’m holding out on hope because I want it to succeed so much, being a pseudo-comic-nerd, but I also am a Whedon fan, too, so I like to think him fully capable of making an Avengers movie that totally kicks ass.

    I’m actually more concerned about the issue raised in this piece, and was a little worried about it even before it was written, but I think they put it in better, less freaked-out words than I could have:

    Anyhoo, so I guess what I’m saying here is I am sure whatever Whedon makes for the Avengers movie will be good, but that perhaps the individual franchises will end up suffering to fit the mold of the combo.


  5. Matthew Wrather #

    You know, I’ve always thought the “new window” thing (technically, adding target=”_blank” to links) was kind of a dick move—a ploy by websites to keep you on their site when you’d rather click away. I mean, can’t you always control-click or command-click to open the link in a new tab?


  6. Bob #

    New Design – It feels very circa late 90’s. For that reason, I like it!

    Whedon – Don’t get me wrong, I love everything he does. But isn’t his name now getting bigger then him? I consider myself a Whedonite, but he hasn’t had a ‘win’ since Angel (I own Doctor Horrible on DVD and last I read it still hasn’t made money) and hasn’t made a movie that made a theatrical profit.

    Open Thread – I saw the Saturday Night Live in the 2000’s show last night (A two hour, ‘we need an arm sling for patting ourselves on the back’ special). Few things struck me.

    A) Why did everyone like Jimmy Fallon. He was unfunny, smirked/broke charecter in every seen and other then the ‘Internet Pot Guy’ and the ‘Guy Who Laughed in the Don’t Fear the Reaper Skit’ I don’t remember anything he’s been in. In the special, they had an entire segment on him which I thought was uncalled for.

    B) Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island boys made the show what it is today. Many people think that for the past 5 years – particularly starting in the last election, SNL has been on an upswing. If you look at it, in the early 2000’s they still had skits that didn’t end quick enough. Once the Digitial Shorts became a hit, many of the skits that would have been 5-6 minutes got cut to 2-3 minutes for YouTube. The result has been more skits and more chances to be funny.


  7. Maddy #

    By “April 31st,” do you mean … May 1st? Or April 30th? Or … what??/


  8. Wade #

    Re: Whedon – I like Whedon as a writer, but I’m not so sure about him as an action director. As much as I loved Serenity, it really felt more like an extended TV episode than a big studio action flick to me. Hopefully with the full Marvel studio at his disposal, Whedon will be able to get the right look/feel of the Avengers.

    Re: Conan on TBS – I think it’s a good move. On cable he can do pretty much whatever he wants without worrying about being beat in the ratings by Letterman or Leno. I mean, if George Lopez can find an audience on TBS, Conan can only do better.


  9. perich OTI Staff #

    @Maddy: We live on an ALTERNATE UNIVERSE CALENDAR!

    (I meant “April 30th” and “May 1st.” We’ve got two gigs! Fixed)


  10. Gab #

    @Wrather: I do try to right-click or something when I see a link *anywhere*, not just here, but I sometimes forget. And then I get flustered if it means I lose an embedded video that has finished loading on the original page when it changes to the new one. Guess it’s just a personal preference/ thing with me, though. Sorry.


  11. inmate #

    After the “I’m With Coco” campaign, Conan was virtually guaranteed a new show.

    Whedon can bee kind of hit and miss so I’m wary of the Avengers movie, regardless of my excitement for Iron Man 2.

    The only problem I have with the new site design is that it seems too white. The contrast makes it hard to read for long periods of time. I like to use the checklists and examples to check my design here:


  12. Valatan #

    If the Avengers turns into Cap and Iron man saying snarky things to the Hulk as they wait for Dr. Doom to show up, goddamn it, I will find you, Whedon. I will find you.


  13. cat #

    Question 1: see George Lopez
    Question 2: “Eliza Dushku in some prominent role that will aggravate as many fans as it titillates” I haven’t forgotten Dollhouse… And after hearing someone mention Jon Hamm for the role of Captain America, I can’t think of anyone else. But only considering Joss Whedon, sure why not? There are worse choices.


  14. Jon Eric #

    I agree that the site redesign is too white. Darker background colors make it easier for me to spend hours and hours on those long-ass posts to which you guys are occasionally prone.

    Q1.) Don’t care. As long as Conan competes with Colbert, I’ll choose Colbert. If Conan comes on after Colbert is over, then it’s already too late, because I have an early shift at my job and am thus getting too old to keep hipster hours. I’ve always liked Conan, but I feel like he’s frequently too limited and/or trumped in his chosen field.

    Q2.) Don’t care. I’m sure Whedon is a capable writer, but I can’t help but feel like the whole reason the Marvel movies have (so far) done so well is because they don’t have all the baggage of the comics. If you want to enjoy Iron Man 2, you don’t need to have the knowledge that comes from a lifetime of weekly updates, you just might want to have seen Iron Man 1, but then again, maybe not, because they’ll probably throw in a bunch of exposition in the first ten minutes. When the movies start codepending upon one another, then the casual fans – the ones who made all three Spider Man movies break their respective opening weekend box office gross records – will get turned off, and will not want to invest all that time and effort.

    Q3.) I haven’t yet seen the premiere of Treme, which I guess makes me derelect in the line of duty, since I’m from New Orleans, but I hear it’s a good show, and HBO is known for having a lot of faith in its own properties. It seems that if HBO were more beholden to ratings, then a lot of their shows would have gotten the axe before they were ready.


  15. Jon Eric #


    If the Avengers turns into Cap and Iron man saying snarky things to the Hulk as they wait for Dr. Doom to show up, goddamn it, I will find you, Whedon. I will find you.

    Hasn’t Whedon been writing for the actual canon Marvel comics for quite some time, and haven’t said comics been more or less well-received by the fans? I don’t really follow the comics, myself, but that was my understanding of the situation, anyway.


  16. Caroline #

    @Jon Eric
    Yes, Whedon wrote an arc in Astonishing X-Men that was excellent.

    The fact that Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men work was so good, and his strong respect for/understanding of the Marvel universe makes me feel very upbeat about his contributions. Though, in my opinion, his strengths lie more in dialogue and character development than in plot design. Considering just how much will be invested in this movie, I’m hoping he’ll talk to someone before he goes off in some random direction with the story (Unlike in the Buffy/Angel comic book continuations).


  17. Valatan #

    @Jon Eric:

    Yes, that is true (though I don’t actually read new release comics anymore), but I would also argue that the comic forum leaves a lot more room for silly, and for dialogue than a film does. In particular, there isn’t a lot of time to build up a bunch of exposition and different character voices–something that an Avengers movie is ALREADY at deep risk of getting bogged down in. He has his strengths and faults as a writer, and a two hour action based movie might emphasize the latter and minimize the former.

    That said, I would bet that he could do wonders with Spider-Man.


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